Local media outlets tend to praise Lebanon as the regional leader in entrepreneurship. Yet it seems that executives and board members tend to disagree with the headlines. They have openly criticized the media for spreading misconceptions, explaining that Lebanese start-ups struggle to sustain themselves due to governmental intervention, ancient business laws, and the absence of free economic zones. So I thought, why not harness the power of data to see where things really lie? Are laws interfering with Lebanon’s competitive ability? Using the World Development Index, Lebanon’s performance was evaluated through the number of governmental procedures required to register a start-up, and benchmarked with two of its main rivals: KSA and UAE. We observed the development of this metric over time from 2003 until 2019. Lo and behold, though it was the reigning champion a decade ago, Lebanon now significantly lags behind both its competitors. Lebanese Laws must be amended to streamline start-up registration procedures, or the country will be out of the race to assert itself as the regional entrepreneurial hub it once was.
The cord-cutting phenomenon is quickly gaining traction with the advent of COVID-19. Apart from its bothersome commercials and restricted programming, cable TV demands a taxing average rate of $100 per month from its subscribers (CNET, 2019). While more than 31.2 million households have abandoned classic cable in 2020 (TechCrunch, 2020), streaming services have witnessed soaring sign-up rates thanks to their affordable pricing, diverse offerings, and flexible on-demand schemes. For example, Netflix alone received 16 million new subscribers in merely the first quarter of the same year (BBC, 2020).
Yet, as with many cases of consumerism, people might feel overwhelmed by the abundance of choices (American Psychological Association, 2004), and it might be difficult to make informed decisions. Put simply, how may consumers select the appropriate streaming service(s) when more than 100 of them are at their disposal? (CNET, 2019). To mitigate the risk of “streaming service overload” (CNET, 2019), whereby individuals misguidedly drive up their costs by subscribing to numerous services, our team is interested to explore, compare, and contrast the offerings of popular streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime).